Behind Closed Doors

The lavish Marcos legacy is thrown open to the public

The visitors found themselves inside a bizarre combination of Macy's and the palace at Versailles. As hundreds of Manila's poorest, many of them in ragged clothes and rubber sandals, shuffled between golden ropes through MalacaƱang Palace, the residence of former President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda, they witnessed a show of conspicuous consumption beyond their imaginings. Inside Imelda's boudoir were two queen-size beds on an elevated platform, and a grand piano. The former First Lady's washbasin was made of gold. Downstairs, in a not-so-bargain basement, the woman who used to refer to "my fellow poor" had left behind some 2,700...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!